November 27, 2013

In Which Yvanette Doesn't Like the Answer

December 5, 1183

"You're awake!" Yvanette's mama rushed over from the door and took her in her arms, twirling her about. Yvanette clung to her neck, not sure if she was dreaming--and if she was, she didn't want to be dropped and woken. She hadn't expected that her mama would be happy to see her. "Oh, sweetheart! Are you all right?"

"I think so." She didn't feel sick any more, at least, or not too sick. And she only remembered flashes--her papa joining her in the water and slinging her over his shoulder, being carried back into the castle in her mama's cloak, Winter dressing her in her nightgown and tucking her into her parents' bed. That and the fear. The fear hadn't gone away. "Are you mad at me?"

"What?" Her mama set her down. Yvanette chanced a look up at her face. She'd surprised her--and maybe hurt her. How? "Honey, why would I be mad at you? Here, sit with me a minute."

Yvanette climbed back up onto the bed while her mama settled on the other side. That was her papa's side usually; Yvanette was on her mama's. Was that all right?

"Sweetie, I can't make any excuses for what happened, but I hope you know that I never would have done that if I'd known it was you."

"Oh." Did that mean she could have told? She'd thought about telling her papa once or twice, but she knew he'd tell her mama. She'd started to tell Winter once, but she'd only gotten tears out, not words. If only she hadn't been such a crybaby. "So it's my fault."

"No! Not at all!" Her mama stared at her, mouth fallen open and shock in her eye. Then, she slumped back and sighed. "God, how did a waste of space like me ever produce someone as sweet and precious as you? You have every right to hate me forever."

Heh? Now it was Yvanette's turn to be surprised--and not her first turn. "I don't hate you."

"I know you don't. You have your papa's heart, and so do your brother and sister. And all four of you deserve so much better than me." A little tear caught on her mama's eyelashes, but she was quick to wipe it aside. "I'm sorry I made you so scared. If I ever make you feel that way again, please tell me so I can fix it."

But how? Everyone had things they didn't like. That was a tough thing to fix. "But you hate cats."

"Not nearly as much as I love you." Her mother smiled, and she looked like she meant it, but Yvanette wasn't so sure. Love beat hate in stories, it was true... but real life seemed rather opposite that way. "I could never hate you, baby."

"Even if I got stuck as a cat forever?"

"Even if you got stuck as a cat forever--and I'll try to like cats in general a little more, I promise."

That would help. Sort of. "Can you stop me from turning into one all the time?"

Her mama bit her lip before she spoke. Yvanette could guess she wouldn't like the answer. "I don't know, baby. Your papa has a few acquaintances who might be able to help, but I can't promise anything and I don't want to lie to you."

So that was it, then. For all she knew, it would never be over. "Oh."

"But we'll do everything we can to make you feel safe, all right?" Her mama gestured for her to come closer. Yvanette shuffled over and slumped onto her shoulder, a warm arm wrapping around her back. "Everything we can."



Van said...

All the stuffed toys in these Christmas commercials are so damn cute.

Ekho said...

This is refreshing, it's so sweet how innocent Yvanette is - how it never crossed her path to feel negatively about her mother.
I hope Ashe can find help for Yvanette quickly..

Van said...

I think Yvanette takes after her father in terms of her tendency to blame herself, the poor thing. :S

But yeah, hopefully someone can help, at least to some capacity.